We still have to uncover and demonstrate to the world the full, beautiful value proposition of evaluation. With this blog I strive to contribute to this effort by sharing my experiences and perspectives.
I shall be pleased if they inspire new insights, or some debate, among those who shape and practice evaluation across the world.
(Note: The term “evaluation” in this blog refers to the many types of evaluation and rapid reviews used in our profession.)
I draw my insights from my early experiences as natural scientist and manager of research and grants portfolios, and from my work over the past 15 years as specialist in evaluation (primarily) and knowledge management.
I am a South African citizen and an Afrikaner (which means “from Africa”), a member of the first white tribe in of South Africa. My forefathers came to South Africa from France in 1690 and from Scotland in 1810. The remarkable history of my family, my country and my continent has shaped me, and continues to have a strong influence on my work.
My respect for different ways of thinking and doing has made it possible for me to work in many countries across the Global South. This much more fragile, vulnerable part of the world with its wonderful people will remain my primary focus. But most of my clients have been in the Global North. Today’s evaluation challenges transcend geographic, disciplinary, sector, demographic and institutional boundaries. We all share the responsibility to learn from one another – and especially from worldviews, perspectives and cultures different from our own.
Perhaps most importantly, we have to work together to ensure that evaluation contributes to the revitalisation of our beautiful planet and all its exquisite ecosystems.
So these posts capture my views and observations as I continue my work across four continents – standing sometimes in desperation, but mostly in awe at the wonder of our world, and at the challenges before us.